14 home bar ideas you need to enjoy your favorite tipple in style

These home bar ideas will make a simple drink at home feel extra special

A selection of framed wall art decor in living room with olive green velvet sofa and brass bar cart drinks trolley decor
(Image credit: Future)

If the sunshine has made you consider what home bar ideas will work for you, then you're in the right place. A home bar is one of those things that can be as large and extravagant as you like, but it can also be simple, small and (most importantly) inexpensive. 

Whatever size you choose, a home bar is a real luxury, but it could save you money in the long run. Think of all those expensive single glasses of wine you won't be buying, and trains you won't be taking, as you're sat at home in your very own, perfectly planned party pad.

We've done our research and found many bar cart ideas and bar design ideas to inspire you to create a nook at home that's especially for good times. 

1. Create a home bar with a comfy perch

home bar with gold island and comfy bar stools

(Image credit: Sweetpea & Willow)

If your dream home bar involves somewhere to pull up a stool and have a good chat with a friend, then you need to factor in space for seating. This luxurious gold and black, high shine console table–come–bar is the perfect size for housing two people, and is small enough to be slotted into the corner of a room. 

You can get the look for less by fashioning your own DIY home bar – it's easier to do than you may think.

2. Take it to the living room 

A selection of framed wall art decor in living room with olive green velvet sofa and brass bar cart drinks trolley decor

(Image credit: Future)

A home bar doesn't necessarily have to be in the kitchen or dining room – taking it into your living room will make grabbing another glass of wine while you're curled up on the sofa that little bit easier, and it adds a certain charm and sophistication to your space too. 

'Finishing touches are important, and hardware is no exception. It's crucial to consider each individual element for an aesthetic design scheme,' says Lucy Paskall, director at Pushka Home

This gold bar cart almost doubles up as a side table and adds a feeling of depth and elegance to the room. The gold frame matches the lamp for a cohesive and well-thought-through look.

3. Invest in a bar cart with all the necessary storage

A bar cart with wine rack

(Image credit: Kitchen Craft)

You can buy bar carts on Amazon in all shapes and sizes, but if you want your area to function at its best, you need to factor in space for storage. From wine bottle stacking areas to a space to store fruit and glasses, choosing a model with storage space will make things so much easier, especially if you've got a smaller room to work with. 

4. Put your kitchen island to work 

Shot from outside showing kitchen with blue and pink Formica plywood units, white worktop, industrial-style bar stools and open oak shelving, framed by metal Crittall-style doors

(Image credit: Jody Stewart)

If you're thinking of installing a large kitchen island idea, get the most out of it by installing a home bar into its design. In the beautiful kitchen above, wine bottle slots are located beneath the white worktop area, creating an instant space to pull up a stool and unwind with a drink. 

5. Choose a wooden bar cart for a retro look 

wooden drinks trolley in a living room alcove

(Image credit: Malcolm Menzies ©Future)

A wooden bar car is a simple base that you can use to add warmth and texture to your overall living room idea if you're on a budget (as well as creating a stylish perch for your bottles of course). You can pick up a really cheap bar cart at places like Wayfair and Target and we love that the design above has wheels so you can easily move the party from room to room.

6. Upcycle a vintage bar 

vintage retro cabinet with a home bar above

(Image credit: Katie Lee)

Loving the retro glam vibes of this home bar. Recreate the look yourself by searching places like eBay and Etsy for a second hand bar cabinet, or actually, any glass-fronted cabinet will do. Give it a lick of paint if it needs it and fill up with all your booze and barware. 

7. Turn an alcove into an at home bar

blue living room with wooden bar cart, paintings and wooden sideboard

(Image credit: Matt Clayton)

Looking for something bigger and more permanent? Create an at home bar in an alcove of your home. Again have a hunt around for a second hand set up if you like the look of a more traditional bar, or you could create your own using a slim breakfast bar. 

8. DIY a home bar

At home bar with black panelling

(Image credit: Katie Lee)

Lisa Dawson's at home bar is the envy of all the Real Homes team, no only is it always stocked with delicious looking drinks, it also fits so seamlessly into the space. You could quite easily DIY a similar bar if your skills are up to scratch and paint to match your home – don't forget to wall mount a couple of shelves too to display your prettiest drink bottles. 

Take a full tour of this stylish home for plenty more inspiration. 

9. Repurpose a piece of furniture 

dining room with a black glass fronted cabinet in an alcove

(Image credit: Malcolm Menzies)

If you are looking for a home bar idea that's quick, affordable and you might not even have to leave the house for, this is it. Have a look around your own home to see if you have any pieces of furniture that would enjoy a new life as a bar.

Something open or glass-fronted would work best – clean it up, give it a paint if it needs it, and then wallpaper the back of the shelves/cabinet to add some instant pattern. Oooh, pop some battery-powered fairy lights from Amazon in there too to light it up. 

10. Use a kitchen trolley as an at home bar

dark navy kitchen with home bar area

(Image credit: Malcolm Menzies)

We sing the praises of kitchen trollies all the time, they really are such a versatile piece, and look you can even use them to create an at home bar within your kitchen idea. This nook has been transformed simply by adding some shelves and positioning a trolley underneath them. If you like the look of this industrial style unit, check out Maisons du Monde for something similar. 

11. Make your bar area stand out with prints

brass bar cart with drinks in an fireplace alcove in a dark living room

(Image credit: Katie Lee)

Even the smallest at-home bars need to be noticed, and an easy way to do that is to hang a statement print. This Andy Warhol from King & McGaw is a classic, used in the home bars of Instagram the world over – simple, stylish and very apt for this lovely home bar. 

12. Make use of a sideboard

A bar in the hallway? Sounds like a good idea to us. If you have a sideboard in your home, doesn't necessarily have to be the hallway, put the top of it to good use and turn it into a for the holidays. Check out Anthropologie for loads of lovely barware to decorate your sideboard with. 

13. Dedicate a kitchen worktop to 'the bar'

Think you have no space for an at-home bar? Think again, transform a section of your kitchen worktop into a bar – all your need is a cute tray to put your drinks on, a couple of cocktail recipe books, a bowl of fruits for garnishes and a selection of your nicest glasses for decoration when not in use. 

14. Turn a kitchen cupboard into a bar

Disguise your at home bar behind the doors of a kitchen cupboard, and then when you fancy a tipple, open it up and start mixing. We would decorate the inside too, add some lights, some prints, some (faux) houseplants to make it feel even more like a bar rather than just a drinks cupboard. 

How do I organize my home bar?

As with anything, organization should begin with a declutter. Have a clear out of any existing bottles, glassware and tools, and only keep what you use or love. We've got a guide to how to declutter to make it an easier job! Then consider what you want to keep out on display and what you'd rather stow away. Pretty bottles and elegant glassware will add a chic and refined feel to the space, whereas larger bottles and buckets may look a little clunky. 

If you're keeping some glassware out on display, ensure it's tucked neatly away so it won't get knocked off. Similarly, try to avoid keeping out items you don't use very often, as they'll simply gather dust and create more work for you. 

How can I make my home bar look good?

A big part of having a home bar is the aesthetic, you want it to look as good as it functions. From ice buckets to cocktail tools and the bar cart itself, there is often a hardware color choice to make - chrome, brass, wood or matt black are some obvious examples, but for a streamlined space it's a good idea to use the same color all over where possible.

Top tip: Always display items in little groups of three. This will prevent your display from looking random or displaced. 

Hebe Hatton

Hebe joined the Real Homes team in early 2018 as Staff Writer before moving to the Livingetc team in 2021 where she took on a role as Digital Editor. She loves boho and 70's style and is a big fan of Instagram as a source of interiors inspiration. When she isn't writing about interiors, she is renovating her own spaces – be it wallpapering a hallway, painting kitchen cupboards or converting a van.